chat Stories June 22, 2017

Doist, the company behind the popular task-management app Todoist, has launched Twist, a team messaging system designed to compete with Slack and Hipchat.

Twist takes a different approach to real-time team chat apps, aiming to provide a kind of cross between chat and email …

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chat Stories March 29, 2016

Tim Cook Snap

Snapchat is changing how you communicate with friends in a major way through what it’s calling Chat 2.0. The social network says it focused two years ago on making chatting more like face-to-face conversation with features like letting you know when your friends were present and “listening” to what you were typing, and the latest Snapchat update refocuses on the 1-to-1 chat aspect of the app with new features around voice and video calling plus stickers and more. How you watch Stories is also getting a change in the new update.

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chat Stories March 14, 2016

Skype for Web adds calling to mobile phones & landlines, guest mode, notifications, more

After launching Skype for Web worldwide back in June, today the previously chat-only web app is adding support for making phone calls and other new features.

chat Stories December 16, 2015

Facebook-Messenger-Uber

Facebook today announced it’s rolling out a new feature for its Messenger chat app that will let users book a car through Uber. The feature, it said, expands on other “integrations” it’s added recently outside of the app’s core chat functionality, like the ability to send money or use the app for customer support.

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chat Stories December 10, 2015

Product Hunt 2

Originally launched as a way to vote on new technology products, Product Hunt has since greatly expanded to include media like podcasts and books as well as games and other content. Product Hunt rolled out a visually refreshed home page a couple weeks back to reflect the evolution, and today the service is unveiling a redesigned iPhone app with new features to match…

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chat Stories August 4, 2015

Viber iOS app updated with easier video calling, rich links, lower data usage & more

Viber has updated its iOS app to add a range of improvements based on user requests, says the company. Version 5.5 allows you to start a video call directly from your recent calls list, rich links now display content previews when links are posted into text chats – and Viber says more efficient data compression has allowed it to improve the quality of both audio and video calls while reducing data usage.

Users can also now share contacts within both one-to-one and group chats, and invite an entire group to follow a public chat.

Viber is a free download from iTunes.

Via TNW

chat Stories February 9, 2015

Skype for iPhone updates the dialer, reintroduces URI support for other apps

Microsoft is out today with its latest version of Skype for iPhone, version 5.10, as it continues to add refinements and features to the overhauled version of its app first released last year.

The new version of Skype for iPhone highlights the ability to save contacts from the app’s phone dialer just like the native Phone app on iOS. You can also save contacts to Skype from the recent call list starting with this version, and Microsoft touts improved chat notification reliability as well.

Finally, Microsoft is reintroducing support for Skype URIs which let other developers include interactions with Skype directly in their own apps including features like calling and messaging.

As long as the Skype app is installed on an iPhone, when a user taps on a Skype name or phone number, the URI will open the Skype app to connect a call or send a message*, making it faster than ever to reach friends, family or businesses.

For example, if you’re browsing restaurant options on an app or mobile website that utilizes Skype URIs, tapping on the phone number would launch Skype so you could call and make a reservation.

If you heavily rely on communicating with Skype frequently, this means you should see deeper Skype integration in other third-party apps in the future.

Skype for iPhone version 5.10 is available now for free on the App Store.

chat Stories December 21, 2013

Review: Bubble Chat for iPhone is a colorful alternative to Facebook Messenger

A few weeks ago, Facebook updated its Messenger app to match iOS 7’s visual design. Unfortunately, the update is a bit bland, with no real embellishments in terms of UI or animation. This week, a new Facebook chat client for iPhone was released that aims to address those complaints with a colorful interface and slick animations.

That app is Bubble Chat.

Bubble Chat is one of the most creative iOS 7 designs I’ve seen, leveraging the new OS’s physics to animate every transition and movement in the app. By default, most of the interface is blue, but a $.99 in-app purchase allows you to customize the background color for each contact individually or globally. You can also choose a photo from your device to use as the background.

The app has two main views for managing your conversations. The first is a list of your Facebook contacts. The other is a list of recent conversation threads. The contact list makes use of each friend’s photo not only as an avatar next to their name, but also as a background for each row in the list, providing a bit more texture than a standard blue background. The chat list provides a quick look at each thread’s most recent message.

Tapping a contact’s photo from the conversation list or with in a thread brings up a contact-specific settings sheet that allows you to customize the design of that conversation or mute all message notifications from that user. From with a conversation you can send photos and videos, plus custom drawings you can create with a variety of brushes and colors.

Speaking of contact photos, Bubble Chat has a clever trick that detects faces in photo and automatically centers them. No more oddly-cropped profile pictures where an off-center face gets cut off! In my testing, I found that the detection system worked every single time, showcasing my contacts automatically instead of whatever happened to be centered in the photo.

The app supports push notifications for new messages, though they seemed a bit unreliable in my testing. My first message came through the main Facebook app, but not Bubble Chat. After I opened Bubble Chat and viewed the new message, notifications started functioning normally for the most part. A few seemed to show up late or not at all.

Overall, Bubble Chat is a solid app that just needs a little work. Aside from the notification issue, I noticed a few graphical glitches, especially when quickly moving between conversation threads and the chat list. These always resolved themselves within a few seconds, though, so there’s no reason to worry about them right now. My single biggest issue with the app is that autocorrect does not seem to work when typing a message. The developers have informed me that several bug fixes and improvements are being made very soon.

If you’re looking to replace Facebook Messenger with something that has a little more personality, Bubble Chat is a great alternative. You can get it on the App Store for free. As mentioned before, theme customization options are available as a $.99 in-app purchase.

chat Stories October 29, 2013

screenshot-1

Messages for Mac may support a few different chat services, but there are still a variety of features that would vastly improve the experience of messaging on the Mac. Flamingo is a new app designed to make chatting even better with a whole host of features you didn’t even realize you were missing.

Unfortunately because Apple keeps iMessage pretty locked-down, you won’t be able to use Flamingo with that. You can still use it with your Facebook, Google Hangouts (text, not video), and other XMPP-based chat services. But should you use it for those things? Keep reading for our full review.

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chat Stories April 16, 2013

Here’s how to enable Chat Heads and Stickers in the new Facebook app right now

When Facebook released their brand-new iOS application today, some were disappointed to find that the highlight features of Chat Heads (from Facebook Home) and Stickers were not present. Facebook says that the two features, like many other of Facebook’s recently released products, will be released via a staggered rollout.

For those who truly want to enable Chat Heads and Stickers before Facebook wants it on your iOS device, iMore‘s Nick Arnott has put together a thorough tutorial on how to enable the features. Follow the steps, grab an app called PhoneView (no jailbreak required), and a Plist editor (like the one included in Xcode), and you should be good to go. We’ve tested the Chat Heads trick, and it works well.

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